Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1360 - 1373
 Header Item Sport Ireland
 Header Item EU Regulations
 Header Item Road Signage
 Header Item Tourism Ireland Funding
 Header Item Road Projects
 Header Item Aviation Industry
 Header Item Light Rail Projects Status
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme
 Header Item Greenways Funding
 Header Item Road Tolls
 Header Item Public Transport Review
 Header Item Road Safety Data
 Header Item Public Transport Provision

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 948 No. 1
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 140 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 1360 - 1373

Sport Ireland

 1360. Deputy Noel Rock Information on Noel Rock Zoom on Noel Rock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his views on the fact that the Irish Sports Council have no database on file of participants in sports nationwide; his further views on whether it is valuable to keep track of the number of participants in each sport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19984/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Patrick O'Donovan): Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan Sport Ireland captures information on the numbers participating in various sports in a number of ways. As part of the annual Core Grant application process, each National Governing Body of Sport is required to provide detailed information on its membership, including number of members, gender breakdown and age breakdown. In addition, information on the number of participants who engage with Local Sports Partnership programmes and initiatives is published annually.

The Irish Sports Monitor is a large scale population based survey designed to capture information on active and social participation in sport and exercise among adults aged 16 years or older. The Irish Sports Monitor Report is published by Sport Ireland on a bi-annual basis. The 2015 Report shows that almost 1.6 million Irish adults participate in sport regularly. Fieldwork is currently underway for the 2017 Irish Sports Monitor. In relation to participation by children, the Children's Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study commissioned by Sport Ireland and published in 2010 is a detailed survey of participation in sport, physical activity and physical education among children aged 10-18.

One of the Government's key priorities for sport is to increase the levels of participation in sport in order that people can enjoy the health, social and economic benefits that arise from sport. In addition, the overarching target of the National Physical Activity Plan is to increase the proportion of the population across each life stage undertaking regular physical activity by 1% per annum. The data and information available is crucial to continued monitoring of participation levels and for informing any future policy options.

EU Regulations

 1361. Deputy Noel Rock Information on Noel Rock Zoom on Noel Rock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross when the legislation will be in place for the Irish Aviation Authority to become the noise regulator for airports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19988/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As I have previously stated, officials in my Department are currently engaged with the Office of the Attorney General and Parliamentary Counsel in order to finalise the details relating to a Statutory Instrument to implement EU Regulation 598/2014 on the establishment of rules and procedures with regard to the introduction of noise-related operating restrictions at Union airports within a Balanced Approach. To that end, I aim to  introduce a new aircraft noise regulatory regime that is robust and fit for purpose and that the relevant legislation is comprehensive in order to give full effect to Regulation 598/2014.

In that context, I expect to be in a position to sign off on the Statutory Instrument, which will provide for the designation of a new competent regulatory authority for aircraft noise management at Dublin airport, in the coming weeks.

Road Signage

 1362. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if signage indicating the direction of the Wild Atlantic Way will be erected on the exit routes from Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20062/17]

 1368. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20262/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Patrick O'Donovan): Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan I propose to take Questions Nos. 1362 and 1368 together.

  My Department's role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy. It is not directly involved in the management or development of individual tourism projects. This is an operational matter for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.

  I am aware that signage is already in place at Shannon Airport on the exit route from Shannon indicating the three closest access points to the Wild Atlantic Way with the distance and the route to follow – Foynes, Kilrush and Lahinch.

Tourism Ireland Funding

 1363. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the amount of funding received by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland to date in 2017 from his Department or other sources.  [20074/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross The breakdown of the total Exchequer provision for tourism services in 2017 is available in the 2017 Revised Estimates Volume (REV) for Public Services, which is published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and available on that Department's website. The subheads of relevance to the two tourism agencies, Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, are E3, E4, E5 and E6 of the Vote of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Of the overall annual Exchequer allocation to the two agencies for 2017, the amount of funding received from my Department by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland by end-April totals €28.097 m. As regards funding received by the two agencies from other sources, I have referred the Deputy's questions to both Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland for further information and direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

  The referred replies under Standing Order 42A were forwarded to the Deputy.

Road Projects

 1364. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if TII will provide funding to extend a footpath at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20079/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to TII for direct reply.   Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.

  The referred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Aviation Industry

 1365. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross further to Parliamentary Question No. 732 of 11 April 2017 and the referred response from the IAA of 19 April 2017, the number of drones weighing under one kilogram in use here; the regulation that exists for the sale, distribution and use of smaller drones here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [20150/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross With regard to the number of drones in use in Ireland under one kilogram I have referred this part of the Deputies question to the IAA for its further consideration and direct reply in light of its statutory responsibility for aviation safety regulation in Ireland; including the regulation of remotely piloted aircraft systems (drones), and the safe use of drones, as provided for under the Irish Aviation Authority Act, 1993.

  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply from the IAA within ten working days.

  Concerning the sale and distribution of drones, the sale and distribution of goods and services generally is a commercial matter which is more appropriate to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in the first instance. There are currently no plans to impose restrictions on retailers with regard to the sale or distribution of drones.

  The referred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Light Rail Projects Status

 1366. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross when the construction of metro north will commence; the timeframe for construction; the target date for completion of the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20171/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross I refer the Deputy to my replies of the 7th February 2017 to Parliamentary Question No. 639 and of the 21st March 2017 to Parliamentary Question No. 1197.   The position with regard to the new Metro North project remains as outlined in those replies.

Sports Capital Programme

 1367. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the number of applications received under the sports capital programme by local authority area, in tabular form; the level of engagement experienced by his Department at the public workshops on the application process prior to the closing date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [20256/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross A total of 2,320 applications were received under the 2017 round of the Sports Capital Programme and these are currently being assessed by officials in my Department. The full list of all applications on a county basis is available on my Department's website at  http://www.dttas.ie/sport/english/sports-capital-programme.

   In order to assist clubs and groups with the application process, a series of seven regional workshops were organised. These workshops allowed potential applicants to get clarification on any issue relating to the application process.   My officials estimate that over 1,500 attended and the feedback from the events was very positive.   My Department also produced comprehensive written and video guides to assist applicants which were available on my Department's website.

  Question No. 1368 answered with Question No. 1362.

Greenways Funding

 1369. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the details on the upcoming competitive funding round for greenways for 2017 as announced at the recent opening of the Athlone greenway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20267/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Under the Capital Plan €100 million is committed to smarter travel and carbon reduction measures, including greenways. The Programme for Government commits to providing additional capital funding for various tourism projects, including greenways and  I will be seeking to deliver this additional funding in the context of the mid-term review of the Capital Plan which is under way. There will be no new funding calls for greenways until the review of the Capital Plan is complete and there is clarity on the funding that will be available for greenways for the remaining years of the capital plan. In anticipation of this and taking account of the experience in the development of greenways to date, my Department is developing  a new Strategy to underpin the future development and funding of greenways. A public consultation process take place in the near future to inform the development of the new Strategy.

Road Tolls

 1370. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the annual revenue lost by traffic failing to pay tolls on the M50 with regard to vehicles which are registered in Northern Ireland or in other countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20291/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy in relation to roads. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects on national roads are a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII, formerly known as the NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority. More specifically, the statutory powers to levy tolls on the M50, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors are vested in TII (for national roads) under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Roads Act 2007).   Noting the above position, I have referred the query on toll violations on the M50 to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

  The referred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Public Transport Review

 1371. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his views on whether it would not have been prudent and advisable to have undertaken a full review of public transport policy in advance of making a submission on the mid term review of the capital plan (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20292/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Government contains a commitment to reviewing public transport policy so as to ensure services are sustainable into the future and are meeting the needs of a modern economy. To advance this commitment, the Deputy might also be aware that I recently announced my intention to establish a Stakeholder Dialogue on the issue of Public Transport.

It is vital that stakeholders have the opportunity to voice their opinions on public transport policy issues and these issues are then considered as part of the formal policy review. I believe that a Stakeholder Dialogue provides the appropriate forum to allow stakeholders to make a meaningful contribution towards policy development. It is also important that the Review will take cognisance of recent developments in other relevant areas of public policy such as the preparation of a new National Planning Framework, the Action Plan for Rural Development, a National Mitigation Plan and Climate Adaption Paper for the transport sector. My Department is currently scoping out the proposed approach to the work. The full Review will then take place as soon as possible.

The submission deadline for the mid-term review of the Capital Plan did not allow for the completion of the significant body of work and consultation required to undertake a comprehensive review of public transport policy. With regard to the evidence base for my Department's submission, there is already a significant amount of evidence to support the transport priorities set out in the Capital Plan. The Strategic Investment Framework for Land Transport in particular, provides the basis for the key priorities which are intended to guide transport investment decisions. Furthermore, my Department applies a robust system of economic appraisal and all project proposals are fully appraised and reviewed by an in-house economic analysis team before sanction is given.

Road Safety Data

 1372. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the number of times the ministerial committee on road safety has met; the persons that attended these meetings; the outcome and decisions of these meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [20293/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross The Ministerial Committee on Road Safety has held meetings twice yearly since 2013 up to end 2016. I have increased the frequency of these meetings to at least quarterly, with the Committee having already met twice in Quarter One 2017,  bringing the total number of meetings to 10 since the current Road Safety Strategy was launched in early 2013.

While persons on the Committee can vary, I always attend as does the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Attorney General, and almost invariably the CEO of the Road Safety Authority, the Assistant Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, the CEO of the Health and Safety Authority, the Director of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) and senior representatives from my Department, the Department of Justice and Equality, other relevant Departments, An Garda Síochána, the City and County Managers Association, and other relevant organisations.

The main purpose and outcome of the meetings is to examine road fatality/serious injuries trends, to review implementation of the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020, and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss and put forward orientations, in addition to giving feedback to other stakeholders on relevant road safety issues and assisting in refining road safety policies and programmes.

I should mention that last November I attended a mid-term review meeting regarding the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020.  I am currently awaiting a report from the Road Safety Authority regarding the outcome of this review, and I expect that will be discussed at the next meeting of the Committee in the coming weeks.

Public Transport Provision

 1373. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the expected number of buses to be added to the Dublin Bus fleet for each of the next five years to meet the growing public transport demand in Dublin in addition to 20 extra buses to add to the fleet of Dublin Bus in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20294/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross The National Transport Authority's (NTA) Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) 2016-2035 provides the overarching framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services in the region over the next two decades. The measures proposed are linked to an analysis of current and projected levels of travel demand across the region.

Projects already completed or at any advanced level over the period 2015-2018 including Luas Cross City, the recently completed Phoenix Park Tunnel, additional bus fleet and bus lane infrastructure, small scale interventions on the M50 and other measures will go some way to addressing growing travel demand in the GDA. The NTA's GDA Strategy proposes a number of large scale projects including the DART Expansion Programme, new Metro North, and other light rail projects which will be delivered over the medium term and will significantly improve capacity in the public transport network in the GDA.

However, in the short to medium term, it will be necessary to radically improve the bus system to deliver a step change in performance across the GDA in order to tackle congestion and increasing levels of demand. Approximately €800 million is allocated over the lifetime of the Government's Capital Plan 2016–2021 for bus measures. This includes fleet replacement and enlargement programmes for both the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann PSO fleets; and for bus network infrastructure development in the GDA and Regional Cities and bus rapid transit programmes in the GDA. In order to deliver the step change in performance that is required in the GDA, further funding will be needed and I am making the case for increased investment as part of the Mid-Term Review of the Capital Plan that is currently under way.

In 2017, funding has been provided to the NTA to facilitate the purchase of 110 new buses for the Dublin Region. The exact numbers to be added to the fleet in each of the next 4-5 years will be determined when the capital review is completed and the revised capital allocation for public transport for the remaining period of the capital plan is clear.


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